first Sherlock fic. SH-POV, and hopefully a believable self-diagnosed sociopath. i'm a big fan of the BBC version and ACD's adventures, so i hope i did them justice. also - i've never been to London, much less the UK as a whole, so any information about London i've made up. there is a 256 Field Hospital just outside of London, and it is about 30 from St. Bart's, but i don't know about their Wounded Warrior care. that might be an American thing. and for the bakery on King Edward Street? no clue. also, edits have been largely in thanks to Howlynn, who has made me think of a few things i hadn't before.
Everyday at 1:30 pm, the blonde man would take a walk around the park in front of St. Bart's. Sherlock had first spotted him one month ago, hobbling along the winding path, leaning a bit too much on the metal cane he used. Sherlock hadn't thought much of him then, the limping man in the park, but the more he saw the man, the more he wondered.
He was a handsome man, if a bit ordinary looking. Well muscled (standard military procedure?); upright, almost marching way of moving about (military confirmed); fond of jumpers (oatmeal, deep blue, soft red) but also wore a jacket over top (not used to the cold?); kind but haggard face (seen a lot of action, then, and a lot of lives lost); determined looking (mind of his own, not military-issue and always a plus). Loud noises didn't startle him, but the man made a habit of running a cursory eye over the tops of buildings and looking behind him from time to time (post-traumatic stress?). Sherlock couldn't determine what colour his eyes were – he was careful to never get that close – but the man was tanner than most Londoners. Military, not used to the cold yet, seen a lot of recent action, tan: the man must be a soldier back from Afghanistan or Iraq.
Sherlock was living in a tiny apartment near the hospital then, only three blocks away. It was cramped and the neighbours on all sides complained about the noises and smells and Sherlock had just gotten another letter of notice from the landlord. The landlord would never actually give Sherlock the boot – the money was good (more than the other tenants) and consistent – but the letters were an annoyance all the same. Around the time Sherlock had started seeing the blonde man, he had determined to change domiciles. The man in the park – recently discharged from the military, if his bearing (ranking officer?) and injury (had been shot… somewhere, possibly left leg) were anything to go on (they were) – was most likely staying in the temporary housing units for injured military personal on the other side of London. Sherlock's guess was near the 256 Field Hospital. It had the best Wounded Warrior care, and the man was both wounded and a warrior (if he wasn't a warrior, he wouldn't have been wounded). Sherlock wondered why the blonde man would take the 30 minute 'Tube ride into the city just for a walk. He also wondered if the blonde man would be interested in living (with a flatmate) a bit closer to the city. A city that he apparently knew.
The man did not seem as if he were simply wandering. He seemed to know where he was going and what he wanted to do. A native of London, then, or at least lived here before he was shipped off. Specifically, lived near St. Bart's. The man appeared to know a great deal about the area. Sherlock had followed him one afternoon when he had nothing better to do (Lestrade had no cases; Mycroft was keeping his fat nose blissfully to himself). The baker on King Edward Street knew the blonde man by name. Sherlock did not get close enough to hear what they said, but the familiarity was obvious. Shop keeper's face lit up in pleasant surprise; blonde man smiled back, also pleased; a brief hug was exchanged; awkward gestures to the right shoulder, cane and left leg; a look of caring distress crossing the shop keeper's face before pushing a large strawberry jam tart into the blonde man's free hand and not accepting any form of payment. Sherlock went in and bought one just to see; it wasn't that bad, but not what he would have gotten for himself normally (blueberry muffin precisely the size of his fist). A discussion with the baker and a quick scan of the clientele revealed that medical students frequented the place. So the blonde man had most likely been a medical student. Military doctor, then.
Sherlock needed a doctor, one of his very own. Not to cure any ailments he might catch (he never did) or to patch him up after a scuffle with a suspect (which happened surprisingly often), but more often than not he needed one to confirm forensics for him. Lestrade's team was if-y at best and stroppy at worst and Sherlock simply didn't have the time to stroke stupid men's egos. When there was a case, Sherlock needed to focus and solve the puzzle, not listen to Anderson whinge about how nobody loved him or some such nonsense (Sally didn't – they just screwed whenever Anderson's wife was out of town). So when Sherlock figured out that the blonde man from the park was a military doctor, he determined to have him.
Military – used to action, thinking quickly on his feet, fast reflexes, a man of honour. Doctor – full of useful medical information, a man of science, understands the need to preform experiments and get all the facts before making a diagnosis. Combined with Sherlock's natural brilliance, he was certain that they could solve practically anything.
The man was injured (limping wounded warrior, after all), but Sherlock wasn't too sure that was so much of a problem. He would need more data in order to determine the validity of that injury – the limp looked too forced, but not a complete lie. Possibly psychosomatic? There were a number of therapists in the area and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the man took a walk after each session. Figuring the incompetence of the therapists, Sherlock wouldn't blame him for needing a walk after an hour spent with one of them. Any assistant of Sherlock's would need to keep up with him, so if the limp wasn't in fact psychosomatic (he really hoped it was) then Sherlock would need to research physical therapy to get his doctor (for that's what the blonde man would become: Sherlock's) into top shape.
A month after first spying the blonde man in the park, Sherlock had just finalised the lease on a flat being let by a former client of his – sweet old woman, Mrs Hudson – when Mike Stamford wandered into the labs one evening. While Sherlock fiddled with a microscope and slides (if he looked busy enough, maybe Mike would leave) the medical professional blathered on about his students (dull) and how dumb they were (wasn't everyone?) and how much he needed a break from them. Sherlock let a small smirk slid across his face. Mike actually might prove useful after all.
Mike – though mostly stupid, fat and very lazy – was a notorious fixer. If given a personal problem, he'd somehow find the answer for you. Sherlock would use him more often if but for the fact that Dr Stamford was entirely too weak-willed. In addition to needing a doctor, Sherlock also needed someone who might take care of the things he needed – like getting milk or straightening the finances or dashing about London. Mike would do those things but not only would he need to be told to do them, he wouldn't put up much of a fight about it either. This made Mike incredibly dull; not someone Sherlock would want to work with, quite frankly. The fact that he was married and had a child on the way certainly didn't help. But Mike was about the same age as the blonde man, had gone to school at St. Bart's like the blonde man most likely had. The classes at St. Bart's were kept small, so chances were that they had known each other. This was just the plant Sherlock needed.
"Why don't you go for a walk tomorrow, then?" Sherlock suggested, keeping his voice even and bored. "Weather's supposed to be nice and you could probably go for an airing out."
"Yeah…" Mike thought for a moment. "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." (Of course it was, you imbecile.) "I think I'll do just that."
Sherlock also knew that Mike was ridiculously easy to steer. It was one of the reasons why he'd never been considered for the position of Sherlock's doctor/assistant. Being over-weight was another reason: he'd never keep up with Sherlock.
"How is your wife, by the way? Found a job yet? I know you've been having mortgage troubles."
"Tiffany's good – found a position at a local hairdresser's. I'd ask how you knew about the mortgage, but well… anyway, it's just one of the joys of having your own place."
"Hmm…. I'm actually moving out of my place. There's a flat on Baker Street I've been looking at, but it's a bit pricy."
"Have you thought about a flat share?"
Sherlock's grin practically split his face and he was glad that he back was to Stamford. He was silent for a moment, straightening out his face and levelling his voice.
"Who would possibly want to share a flat with me?"
So what did Mike bring him the very next day after lunch? The blonde man from the park – a Dr John H. Watson, formerly Cpt Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. He had a mind of his own, dark blue eyes that were at times both hard and soft, a taste for adventure and strawberry jam, and a thankfully psychosomatic limp. John might not have been exactly what Sherlock had been expecting, but John was his doctor and he was perfect.
so this hasn't technically been beta'd or BritPick'd (just in case you couldn't tell). if someone would like to go through and catch all the nasty little mistakes (there's probably tons more i haven't seen), feel free to PM me. i also hope the parentheticals haven't been too much. other than that, please review and Believe In Sherlock. :)